Stocks rise after Fed accelerates stimulus


U.S. equity futures were trading higher Thursday morning after the Federal Reserve said it would accelerate its pullback of economic stimulus and even as weekly jobless claims moved higher. 

The major futures indexes suggested a gain of 0.6% when trading begins on Wall Street, continuing the broad rally from Wednesday. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 35927.43 +383.25 +1.08%
SP500 S&P 500 4709.85 +75.76 +1.63%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15565.582968 +327.94 +2.15%

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The Fed said it would likely raise interest rates three times next year to tackle rising inflation and will shrink its monthly bond purchases at twice the pace it previously announced, in line with ending them altogether in March.

On Thursday, the Labor Department reported new claims for unemployment benefits for last week rose 206,000, up from the previous week’s tally of 188,000 which was the lowest in 52 years. Continuing claims, which track the total number of unemployed workers collecting benefits, fell to 1.845 million, a pandemic low.

MILLENNIALS ARE SUPERCHARGING THE HOUSING MARKET

The Commerce Department was expected to say that the number of new homes under construction in November jumped 3.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.568 million. That’s after unexpectedly falling 0.7% in October on labor and materials shortages. 

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve will release its index of manufacturing activity for eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware. It’s expected to fall 9 points this month to 30.0. Any reading above zero means that more manufacturers say business conditions are improving.

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The Federal Reserve will release industrial production data for November. Factory output is expected to increase 0.7% for the month.

In stocks, Delta Airlines moved higher after laying out financial goals for the next three years and expects meaningful profitability by 2022. CEO Ed Bastian, in an interview with CNBC, also noted holiday travel is rebounding.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 36.61 +0.08 +0.22%
AAL AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC. 16.99 +0.08 +0.47%
LUV SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO. 40.11 -0.13 -0.32%
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS INC. 41.50 +0.12 +0.29%

Regeneron in focus on reports its antibody cocktail loses potency against the omicron variant.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
REGN REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS INC. 657.93 -13.04 -1.94%

Investors continue to watch Apple as it moves closer to the first company to cross the $3 trillion mark. Shares must hit $182.856 to hit the milestone.   

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Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAPL APPLE INC. 179.30 +4.97 +2.85%

In Europe, London's FTSE gained 0.9%, Germany's DAX added 1.5% and France's CAC rose 1%. The Bank of England raised interest rates in the United Kingdom on Thursday to combat surging consumer prices, becoming the first central bank among the world’s leading economies to do so since the coronavirus pandemic began.

RETAIL SALES PULL BACK WITH MODEST INCREASE AS INFLATION HITS CONSUMER SPENDING

The increase in the bank's main rate to 0.25% from the record low of 0.1% was a surprise given the rapid spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus across the country, which is already hurting many businesses, particularly those in the hospitality sector.

In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index rose 2.1%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng clawed back from early losses, gaining 0.2% and China's Shanghai Composite index added 0.8%.

FOX Business' Ken Martin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.